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Gasperik 02: Chicago & Tuley Park Quilting Club 1930s

When Mary Gasperik began making quilts in 1933, the Tuley Park Quilting Club became a central community for her. With this group of women she learned, shared, and grew as a quilt maker and participant in American civic life. These quilts were made while Mary was a new member of this club.
 
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Visitors and quilts at a spring Tuley Park quilt show. May 15, 1935.
Photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District, all rights reserved.

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A display of quilts at a Tuley Park quilt show.
Photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District, all rights reserved.

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This photo shows Tuley Park quilters at work. Tuley Park Quilt Club Club president Virgie Stewart is shown at the back right, wearing a flowered dress. The names of the other quilters are not known.
Photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District, all rights reserved.

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An unidentified member of the Tuley Park quilt club.
Photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District, all rights reserved.

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An unidentified Tuley Park quilt member at work.
Photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District, all rights reserved.

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Photo taken at Tuley Park quilt club, October 30, 1936.  Club President Virgie Stewart standing at right.
Photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District, all rights reserved.

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Members of Tuley Park quilt club standing in front of Laurel Wreath quilt made by Mary Gasperik.  Seated at left is quilt club president Virgie Stewart.  Standing at left, just behind Stewart is the quilt’s maker, Mary Gasperik. Other members of the group are unidentified. The photo is dated October 30, 1936. The quilt is dated 1935. Gasperik attended her first Detroit News quilt show in October 1935. The Detroit News did not hold a quilt show in 1936. This quilt likely was exhibited at the 1937 Detroit News quilt show where it won an honorable mention. The Detroit News offered a copy of the Nancy Page Laurel Wreath quilt pattern, but it is more likely Gasperik used the original Page pattern. However, Gasperik did not use this pattern in its entirety. Instead she took the patterns for half of her appliqué units (the ones not surrounded by laurel wreaths) from non-Page and hence non-Detroit News sources. This quilt would thus not have qualified for any ribbon other than an honorable mention ribbon at the 1937 Detroit News quilt show.
Photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District, all rights reserved.

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Virgie Stewart, President of the Tuley Park quilt club sponsored by the Chicago Parks District, pointing to a sign reading “100th QUILT MADE BY TULEY PARK - Mrs. Barker”. Quilter Mary Gasperik is standing in the group, at the right, wearing a light striped dress.  The photo is dated May 15, 1935.
Photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District, all rights reserved.

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The four quilts made by Mary Gasperik displayed at the October 30, 1936 Tuley Park quilt show are (left to right):  Bridal Bouquet (dated 1933 on the front and 1936 on the back, a quilt now in the collection of there Los Angeles County Museum of Art),  Laurel Wreath (dated 1935), Four Little Pigs (undated), and Double Feather Star (dated 1935).
Photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District, all rights reserved.

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Tuley Park quilt club President Virgie Stewart pointing to the center of  the Bridal Bouquet quilt made by club member Mary Gasperik.  This quilt is dated 1933 on the front and 1936 on the back.  This quilt is now in the collection of The Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  The identities of the other three women in this photograph is not known. The photos was taken on October 30, 1936.
Photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District, all rights reserved.

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The sign at Tuley Park, 2008
Photo by Merikay Waldvogel

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The community building at Tuley Park, 2008
Photo by Merikay Waldvogel

Merikay Waldvogel
2005
All rights reserved

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